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At Folsom Prison [Legacy Edition 2CD/DVD]
     

At Folsom Prison [Legacy Edition 2CD/DVD]

4.0 6
by Johnny Cash
 

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Johnny Cash's monumental At Folsom Prison remains a touchstone for country artists in and out of the mainstream, and a landmark in Cash's career, coming at the moment when he was ascending to the Mount Olympus of beloved American artists. As a statement of purpose, At Folsom Prison explores all the styles Cash has made his own and championed as the years

Overview

Johnny Cash's monumental At Folsom Prison remains a touchstone for country artists in and out of the mainstream, and a landmark in Cash's career, coming at the moment when he was ascending to the Mount Olympus of beloved American artists. As a statement of purpose, At Folsom Prison explores all the styles Cash has made his own and championed as the years have passed -- it's as honest an album as any artist has ever recorded. Bonus tracks include "Busted," "Joe Bean," and the tall tale Cash owns, "The Legend of John Henry's Hammer." Cash's original, Grammy-winning liner notes are reproduced, and he's added an intimate, personal reflection on this project to boot; for good measure, Steve Earle puts in his evocative two cents' worth in the liner copy as well.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Folsom Prison looms large in Johnny Cash's legacy, providing the setting for perhaps his definitive song and the location for his definitive album, At Folsom Prison. The ideal blend of mythmaking and gritty reality, At Folsom Prison is the moment when Cash turned into the towering Man in Black, a haunted troubadour singing songs of crime, conflicted conscience, and jail. Surely, this dark outlaw stance wasn't a contrivance but it was an exaggeration, with Cash creating this image by tailoring his set list to his audience of prisoners, filling up the set with tales of murder and imprisonment -- a bid for common ground with the convicts, but also a sly way to suggest that maybe Cash really did shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die. Given the cloud of death that hangs over the songs on At Folsom Prison, there's a temptation to think of it as a gothic, gloomy affair or perhaps a repository of rage, but what's striking about Cash's performance is that he never romanticizes either the crime or the criminals: if anything, he underplays the seriousness with his matter-of-fact ballad delivery or how he throws out wry jokes. Cash is relating to the prisoners and he's entertaining them too, singing "Cocaine Blues" like a bastard on the run, turning a death sentence into literal gallows humor on "25 Minutes to Go," playing "I Got Stripes" as if it were a badge of pride. Never before had his music seemed so vigorous as it does here, nor had he tied together his humor, gravity, and spirituality in one record. In every sense, it was a breakthrough, but more than that, At Folsom Prison is the quintessential Johnny Cash album, the place where his legend burns bright and eternal. Following through on their 2006 expanded edition of At San Quentin, Columbia/Legacy delivered a Legacy Edition of At Folsom Prison in 2008 -- a deluxe box set containing two CDs and a DVD with a new two-hour documentary chronicling the history of the concert and its lasting impact. Unlike the Legacy Edition of At San Quentin, which captured one long concert, this expansion of At Folsom Prison features two complete sets, one set featured on each CD. The unreleased material on these two discs dwarfs the 1999 expanded reissue of Folsom, which only added three tracks to the original 16-track LP, and with this new material comes some revelations; chief among those is how almost all the original LP was culled from the first set, when Cash came storming out on-stage and tore through his songs with passionate fury. On the second set, he's relaxed partially because he's tired: he often coughs and is more apt to joke directly with the prisoners, he restarts songs a couple of times, and he gives more space to his opening acts of Carl Perkins and the Statler Brothers, whose full sets are also included here. Far from tarnishing the legend of At Folsom Prison, this looser set enhances it, illustrating just how deeply Cash related with the prisoners. All that means is that this Legacy Edition is an ideal deluxe edition: it expands the original without losing the mystique or appeal that made the album a classic in the first place.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/14/2008
Label:
Sony Legacy
UPC:
0886973274224
catalogNumber:
732742
Rank:
50683

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Johnny Cash   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Carter Family   Guitar,Vocals
Carl Perkins   Electric Guitar,Vocals
Lew DeWitt   Vocals
June Carter Cash   Vocals
Marshall Grant   Bass
Luther Perkins   Electric Guitar
Don Reed   Vocals
W.S. Holland   Drums
Philip Balsley   Vocals
Harold Reid   Vocals

Technical Credits

Johnny Cash   Liner Notes
Steve Earle   Liner Notes
Ervin T. Rouse   Composer
Bob Irwin   Producer
Randall Martin   Art Direction
Michael Streissguth   Liner Notes
Jim Marshall   Original Cover Photography

Customer Reviews

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At Folsom Prison 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
it rocks, baby!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best live album ever made, has Johnny Cash's greatest hits, and reminds you why Johnny Cash is one of the greatest entertainers to ever live.
Guest More than 1 year ago
FOLSOM PRISON BLUES ROCKS IT IS ONE OF THE BEST SONGS HE SINGS
Guest More than 1 year ago
An artist with a mic and a guitar in front of an audience of convicts playing live has to be the ultimate test of true talent and Mr.Cash is nothing less than superb on this album.This album contains the definitive rendition of "Folsom Prison Blues" as well as 18 other great songs.With the prison announcements and the clinks and clangs of the metal that he is surrounded by Mr.Cash recorded what many consider not just the greatest live country album but prehaps the greatest live album in any genre. Get a copy today and see why Johhny Cash is the greatest country artist of all time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In a radical tour de force, Johnny Cash gave his standout performance at California's Folsom Prison in 1968, which was captured in his highly acclaimed live folk album that same year. With it's unique mixture of inspiring folk music and down home country and western virtuosity, The Man In Black captivated and inspired the prisoners who had attended the packed room where he performed, and it has been said that the live act change many of the prisoners' lives. Backed by his jubilent Top Ten reindition of Folsom Prison Blues, the live performance have struck a chord among his fans- admirers, The Nashville Establisment and the folk music scene when At Folsom Prison became a blockbuster hit and made The Ten Best List critics' album list for 1968. Known as a country and western titan, Johnny Cash was even known as a powerful folk singer who captivated both audiences and listeners with his moving and inspirational folk music artistry. (From 1957 to 2004, Cash would released more folk albums than his country and western albums). What is even so ironic about about The Man In Black is this live album even has the power to inspire those who are in need of hope and salvation, thanks to his proud support for civil rights causes and advocating for the help of the downtrodden, among others. Now thanks to Columbia Records and Sony Music, we can listen to At Folsom Prison in it's digitally-remastered expanded format, which makes it 100% more complete and restored to perfection. It is one of many music works that will always test the boundaries of right or wrong!
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